Shinichi’s identity was proven as almost 100% identical to the missing boy, who went missing 8 years ago due to a dimensional drift.
8 years had passed, but he came back as if only 2 years had.
This whole incident left the organization, who apprehended (sheltered) him, at their wit’s end.
“Sorry for dragging you all over the place.
This is our first time dealing with a case like this, so everyone’s really busy,” the female officer said.
“Ah, it’s fine. Please don’t mind me,” Shinichi replied.
Due to this incident, they had to go around various departments to explain his situation and get some papers done.
Shinichi himself was shocked, but he also understood the shock and confusion of the people around him, so he didn’t think it a hassle to have to go around the organization like this.
If anything, he was thankful that all the departments he needed to visit to deal with a case as unique as his were all in one building. It was just that…
“We revived your family register with that last one, so next we have to go to the immigration office.
I know it couldn’t be helped, but you still traveled illegally, so they’ll probably ask you a bunch of stuff.
But don’t worry. It’ll be fine. Just follow my lead,” the female officer said as she firmly held the boy’s hands.
It was as if she was saying to leave everything to her.
It was reassuring, but at the same time, he could not understand why she was doing this.
This female officer volunteered herself to show him the way. Her name was Nakamura Rinko.
She was his father’s ‘current’ wife and – after reviving his family register – his current step mother.
She was the one who brought that fact to light, and yet she was also the one most affected by it.
Because of that that male officer made a grim face upon hearing that she was volunteering herself, but she was resolved on her decision, and in the end, the male officer had no choice but to fold.
Then just as she said she would, in all the papers and in all the questionings, despite being a member of this organization, she was completely on Shinichi’s side.
Shinichi couldn’t understand. Why? Why was she going through all this trouble?
“U-Umm… I know I’m not reliable, but I know a lot of people with high positions, so I’m sure it’ll be alright.
Don’t worry! You’ll be able to live a normal life soon!”
Apparently, she took his incomprehension for anxiety, so she tried to encourage him.
Shinichi nodded back with a vague expression. “Thank you… And sorry for all the trouble.”
She was a little unhappy when he made that face, but she tried to hide it behind a wry smile before going ahead.
Shinichi quietly shook his head as he watched her from behind.
—Calm down. This isn’t the time to be panicking.
There was no doubting it. This was happening.
It wasn’t a mere 2 years that had passed but 8.
The facilities and the people here were all real. In fact, everything was so stupidly real and high-tech that he would catch himself staring stupid at times.
The medical and examination devices that could completely examine him across the board in a matter of minutes were one thing, but when he saw a holographic image being used like a touch monitor, he had no choice but to accept this as real.
There was no way this was just an elaborate scheme.
In the first place, wasn’t he just Mysterious Boy A?
Why would they go through all the trouble of enacting such a complicated play just to fool him?
No. This was real. And everything around him was telling him that.
8 years had indeed passed.
But it was also true that he only spent 2 years in Falandia.
Where did the 6 years ago?
Was it because of the time difference between the two worlds?
Or could it be that he spent 6 years in total traveling to and fro each world.
There was no concept of time in the space between worlds.
If so, then perhaps the moment he left Falandia and entered the space between worlds, 6 years passed.
“………Are you stupid?” Shinichi told himself.
—Calm down. This isn’t the time to be panicking.
Shinichi shook his head.
What’s the point of thinking so desperately about it if it won’t change anything?
Nothing. It was futile.
No answer would come; therefore, right now, there’s no need to think about it.
Yes, what he needed to ask… What he need to think of was… Something much more personal.
2 years ago… His parents were married. They had a good relationship.
His mother was a strong willed woman, and his father was a spineless man who did whatever his wife asked of him.
But his father had no qualms about that. They led a pleasant life together as one family.
His mother was a cheerful and magnanimous woman, while his father was a calm but strict man when it came to education.
They did argue sometimes, but it was the adorable sort that could be referred to as a lover’s quarrel.
…What happened to that?
He could imagine a couple’s relationship breaking down after losing their child, but he wasn’t an only child.
He had a younger brother and a younger sister, and they all had a good relationship, so why?
Shinichi couldn’t understand it.
Why did his parents divorce?
Could it be that his family always had a problem and he was simply blind to it?
He had to ask. He had to know. And this woman in front of him probably held the answers.
She was his father’s current wife. If it’s her, then she might know why he divorced his mother.
And if she did know… He wants to ask her… Where is his mother? Where are his siblings?
If he doesn’t find at least that out, then he won’t even know where he should go.
He did think there was a chance they wouldn’t be waiting for him by the time he came back.
But he didn’t think his parents would actually divorce.
To him, that family was the only place he could return to.
He wanted to go home… Even though there was a chance he couldn’t… Even though they might not be waiting for him anymore… He wanted to go home.
Divorce never crossed his mind even once. In fact, neither did death, and because of that, when reality finally hit him in the face, he realized just how anxious he’d been. And it affected him so greatly that it left him dizzy.
Which is why…
Even though the revelation of 8 years actually passing instead of 2 and Earth making contact with another world was plenty shocking, the shock he received from finding out that his parents had divorced, his father remarried, and that he now had a new sibling was far greater.
Which is why he had to ask.
What happened in these 8 years?
That things had to end up this way.
As their son, as their older brother… He had the right to know.
—I have to… Know!